College of Arts & Sciences

International Studies


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International Studies is an interdisciplinary program that teaches students to understand a global theme and a non-North American world area from multiple perspectives, to gain competence in a related foreign language, and to carry out in-depth research and writing. International Studies majors graduate with skills that enable them to live and work as global citizens throughout the world.


Grow Your Future

As the world shrinks, opportunities grow for International Studies majors. With a degree in International Studies you can pursue anything from international policy making to philanthropic work to teaching English as a second language in another country. International Studies graduates go on to international careers with governments, businesses, non-governmental organizations, philanthropic agencies, and educational institutions. 

Career opportunities in International Studies

  • archaeologists
  • communications specialists
  • cultural anthropologists
  • cultural diversity trainers
  • development experts
  • diplomacy careers
  • editors/publicists
  • environmental specialists
  • foreign service officers
  • foreign study coordinators
  • foreign exchange specialists
  • geographers
  • hospitality industry specialist
  • human rights associates
  • import/export brokers
  • insurance specialists
  • intelligence specialists
  • international global activists
  • international law careers
  • international news writers/journalists
  • international sales representatives/managers
  • international security specialists
  • international trade specialists
  • international student advisors
  • marketing analysts
  • multiculturalism experts
  • museum & cultural arts personnel
  • natural resource management careers
  • philanthropic agency officer/manager
  • political analysts
  • program officers/managers for international non-profits and NGOs
  • public relations careers
  • research assistants
  • social studies and language teachers
  • teachers of English as a second language (ESL)
  • travel and tourism

Classes & Requirements

What You'll Study

International Studies is an interdisciplinary program in which majors explore global issues in disciplines such as anthropology, economics, history, political science, geography, foreign languages, English and the arts. Students choose course work focused around a central theme and geographical region. Cultural knowledge will be developed further through expanded foreign language study.


Graduation Requirements

Any student earning a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree must complete a minimum of 39 hours at the 300+ level. These hours are generally completed by the major requirements. However, keep this hour requirement in mind as you choose your course work for the requirements in the major. See the complete description of College requirements for a Bachelor of Arts degree in the Arts and Sciences section of the 2015-2016 Undergraduate Bulletin.

UK Core Requirements

  • The Nature of Inquiry in Arts and Creativity (3 hours)
  • The Nature of Inquiry in the Humanities (3 hours)
  • The Nature of Inquiry in the Social Sciences (3 hours)
  • The nature of Inquiry in the Natural, Physical and Mathematical Sciences (3 hours)
  • Composition and Communication I (3 hours)
  • Composition and Communication II (3 hours)
  • Quantitative Foundations (3 hours)
  • Statistical and Inferential Reasoning (3 hours)
  • Community, Culture and Citizenship in the USA (3 hours)
  • Global Dynamics (3 hours)

Total Credit Hours - 30

Major Requirements 

Pathway Courses

Complete 6 credit hours from the following list. Courses must be from two departments: ANT 160, ANT 225, GEO 152, GEO 160, GEO 161, GEO 162, HIS 104, HIS 105, PS 210, PS 235 (for a list of course descriptions please refer to the UKY Bulletin [6 hours]

Language Competency 

Complete the fourth semester in one language AND two semesters in a second language or two additional semesters in the same language [6-8 hours]

Thematic Concentration 

Complete 12-15 hours in one theme from at least two different departments. The themes include: Culture and the Arts, Global Development and Comparative Politics and Societies. For a complete list of approved courses please refer to the UKY Bulletin [12-15 hours]

Area Concentration

Complete 12-15 hours in one Area Concentration from at least two different departments. The Areas include: Africa and the Middle East, East South and Southeast Asia, Europe, Latin America, Russia and Eurasia. For a complete list of approved courses please refer to the UKY Bulletin [12-15 hours]

Capstone Senior Project

  • INT 495 - Capstone Seminar for International Studies Majors [3 hours]

Total Hours - 42-44

International Studies | Bachelor of Arts

B.A. Major Requirements

International Studies | Four Year Plans

B.A. Four Year Plan B.A. Education Abroad Option

Imagine Your Future

Public Relations Specialists

Public relations specialists create and maintain a positive public image for the clients they represent.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics | Click the link for more info.

Median Salary


per year in 2023

Number of Jobs


in 2023

10 Year Job Outlook


new jobs (average)

Work Environment

Public relations specialists work for a variety of organizations, including schools, media buyers, and professional associations. They usually work in offices, but they also deliver speeches, attend meetings and community activities, and occasionally travel.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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A&S Undecided/Exploratory Studies

Understanding that over 70 percent of university students will change their declared major at least once during their college careers, the College of Arts and Sciences has developed an Exploratory Studies program for students who have yet to decide the specific field of study that most closely aligns both their personal interests and their professional career goals and objectives. The Exploratory Studies Program provides students with an extraordinarily diverse educational environment that includes coursework spanning Math and Natural Sciences, Humanities, and Social Sciences and provides students with the unique opportunity to explore multiple areas of interest during their first several semesters on campus. For more information please contact a recruiting representative at 

Enhancing Your Time at UK

While there are endless ways to create an unforgettable journey as a Wildcat, we can only think of one that gives you the chance to step outside the classroom and into exploring new parts of the world around you: participating in an Education Abroad opportunity! Whether it’s in a study, research, service, or internship program, taking your UK experience international with EA is the most hands-on way for you to expand your global perspective while making yourself a more well-rounded, marketable candidate to future employers no matter your field. As you take these first steps towards investing in your future, EA encourages you to take advantage of all the opportunities UK has to offer. Take a look at some of the many suggested opportunities UK Education Abroad & Exchanges has to complement your major! #ukyabroad


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